Can you tell me more about the license surrender and decommissioning process?

Yes, in this process, the licensee sends a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to surrender the license. In general, the surrender application process is similar to other regulatory licensing and permitting processes. In this process, FERC will review the application to ensure that safety and environmental concerns are addressed before allowing the project to be removed from federal jurisdiction. It will also require the licensee to consult with other state and federal regulatory agencies, stakeholders, and the public-at-large.  Decommissioning of the Project occurs after FERC authorizes the surrender of the license and approves the decommissioning plan.


When will the surrender and decommissioning project be completed?

While it is early to predict the precise timeline, the surrender application process is expected to be completed within 1.5 to two years.  Decommissioning activities will commence after the surrender of the license.   This timeline is subject to change, and further information about the schedule will be forthcoming.


Why is the owner surrendering the FERC license for Bar Mills?

Brookfield White Pine Hydro determined that surrendering the license is the most viable solution in balancing operational, environmental, and future dam safety needs.  Specifically, the Bar Mills project has significant operational challenges that have prevented the units from running for the last three years.  Without a viable solution to return the generating units to an operable condition, Bar Mills is uniquely suited for the surrender of its license and a pathway to decommissioning.  Prospectively, the resources allocated to Bar Mills can then be redirected to developing, sustaining, or enhancing other sources of renewable energy.


What are the project features of the Bar Mills hydro project?

The Bar Mills dam (FERC No. 2194) is a 4MW facility constructed in 1956 located on the Saco River immediately downstream of the West Buxton Dam and upstream of the Skelton project dam. The project consists of a dam structure, powerhouse, boat launch, angler trail, canoe portage, and parking lot.


Will the boat ramp, angler trail, and canoe portage be accessible?

Yes, we will maintain access to these sites for the duration of the surrender application process.  Decommissioning of the Project may affect the use of these sites. Should there be any changes in the interim, we will notify the public.


Will the recreation sites be removed once the decommissioning is finalized?

BWPH is committed to working with stakeholder groups and local municipalities to determine the future use of recreation amenities. Just like with other components of this process, future use of the recreation sites will be subject to FERC review and consultation with agencies and stakeholders.


What areas are subject to removal from the FERC Project Boundary?

The project boundary for Bar Mills goes upstream from just below the West Buxton hydro station and downstream an estimated 200 feet below the Bar Mills powerhouse. Once the surrender application has been approved by FERC, there is no longer a FERC project boundary.


What will happen to the water levels between Buxton and Bar Mills?

BWPH will undertake assessments during the surrender application process to evaluate how water levels will be impacted. Bar Mills is a run-of-river dam and flows are not expected to be impacted.  Decommissioning the facility will allow the river to recede near its natural level.


I am a landowner living near Bar Mills. Will the land I own be impacted?

We do not expect any impact to landowners. BWPH will undertake assessments during the surrender application process to evaluate how water levels will be impacted.


Who can I contact at Brookfield Renewable for more information?

Updates will be communicated on this website as more information becomes available. In the meantime, you can e-mail questions to maine.inquiries@brookfieldrenewable.com.


Where else can I learn more information about the filings associated with this project?

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) makes it easy for stakeholders to follow and participate in this process. Most documents can be submitted online at www.ferc.gov and are also available to read online.

If you wish to receive email notification of all filings associated with the Bar Mills Project, you can sign up using FERC’s eSubscription service, located at www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp, and following the steps there for registration. You will want to subscribe to Project number P-2194.


Who can the media contact for more information? 

For media questions, please contact Julie.Pelletier@brookfieldrenewable.com or 518-480-1494.